UK Tier-2 Visa

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What is a UK Tier-2 Visa?

The Tier 2 Visa (General) route is for migrants who have been offered a job in the United Kingdom and are sponsored by UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration)-approved employers. It is the primary immigration route for skilled workers seeking employment in the United Kingdom.

The Tier 2 General Work visa is a UK work visa, part of the British Points Based System. It is issued to highly skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland, who have a job offer for a skilled job or a job in the Shortage List from a UK employer with a valid Tier 2 sponsorship licence.


Eligibility Criteria:

  • obtain a 'certificate of sponsorship' from your employer with information about the role you've been offered in the United Kingdom
  • work in one of the jobs on the list of those who are eligible
  • be paid a minimum wage, the amount of which varies depending on the type of work you do
  • meet the minimum of 70 points to apply to work in the UK

Tier 2 Visa Point Attributes

Characteristics Mandatory/Tradeable Points
Offer of job by approved sponsor Mandatory 20
Job at appropriate skill level Mandatory 20
Speaks English at required level Mandatory 10
Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable 0
Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable 10
Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable 20
Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee Tradeable 20
Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job Tradeable 10
Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job Tradeable 20

Documents Required for UK Tier-2 Visa:

  • your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) reference number - employer will give this
  • English Language Evidence (CEFR level B1)
  • a valid passport with atleast 1 blank page
  • your job title and annual salary
  • your job’s occupation code
  • the name of your employer and their sponsor license number - this will be on certificate of sponsorship

Other Documents might need

  • Proof of funds (Bank statements) atleast £1,270 - (unless your certificate of sponsorship shows your employer can support you)
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Tuberculosis test results
  • Police Clearance Certificate(PCC)
  • a valid ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme)
  • certificate - if your job involves researching a sensitive subject at PhD level or higher

Cost involved in UK Tier-2 Visa:

  • Application Fee : ranges from £610 to £1,408 depends on the circumstances
  • Healthcare surcharge : this is usually £624 per year

Application Process:

It is an online application to be submitted after paying the fee


How long you can stay:

UK Tier-2 visa can last for up to 5 years before you need to extend it You’ll need to apply to extend or update your visa when it expires or if you change jobs or employer


Processing time:

  • You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship

Your Dependants (partner and children):

  • Your partner and children can apply to join you or to stay in the UK as your ‘dependants’ if they’re eligible. If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours

Dos and Don’ts in UK

With a Skilled Worker visa you can:

  • work in an eligible job
  • study
  • bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible
  • take on additional work in certain circumstances
  • do voluntary work
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years and meet the other eligibility requirements

You cannot:

  • apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
  • change jobs or employer unless you apply to update your visa
  • If your application is successful, you’ll get a full list of what you can and cannot do with a Skilled Worker visa.